Before news of turmoil on Wall Street surfaced last week, consumers were feeling more confident in the economy, the Conference Board reported this week.

Based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households earlier this month, the New York-based private research group's monthly consumer confidence index for September rose to 59.8, from 58.5 in August.

Lynn Franco, the group's director of research, cited an improved short-term outlook for the modest gains in September.

While overall confidence improved, the number of respondents who said economic conditions were “bad” rose to 34.2 percent, up from 32.7 percent in August, while those claiming conditions were "good" fell 1.2 points to 13.7 percent.

"These results did not capture all of the tumultuous events in the financial sector this month," Franco said in a statement. “Until the dust settles a bit more, we will not know the full impact on consumer's expectations.”

The group's next gauge of consumer confidence is to be released on October 28.